As you probably know, I haven’t been posting on that classic Blog Lectures “once every 3 days” schedule, I realized quality is really important over quantity.
Recently, I have been doing a side project, a bit of link building through article marketing for a mini niche site I have been working on.
Now, I’ll be sharing with you of the link building strategies I use to rank for a high search engine position. It works for websites, blogs, minisites, anything really. The main linking comes from article marketing, below I will first give a simple description of what links are and etc.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are basically “votes”, the more votes you have, the higher position you have in search engines.
Building backlinks is a part of search engine optimization, a “vote” is basically a hyperlink from other pages that links back to your blog or a page on your blog. Hence the name, links back, back-links…blah.
Some people might ask, couldn’t I just repeatedly link to my blog or a page on my blog myself?Yes, they are still backlinks but have less search engine benefits, you will need to focus on building links that are from pages outside of your blog.
Important: Anchor Text
You may hear this SEO term many times in the web industry, an anchor text is the text that you link to other pages with. For example I have this post about content ideas, I could link it in various ways:
I could simply link to the page with the URL like I did above, but people in search engines don’t search URLs, they search keywords so to give the page some SEO benefits, I should link it using keywords.
See the difference? If thousands of people link to this post with the anchor text “Content Idea Sources”, I am getting a lot of “votes” and Google would put me up higher in the search results for this term.
When you build links to your blog or other pages, it is critical that you hyperlink the link with the keywords you’re trying to rank for 1st on search engines as the text.
Need another example? Go to Google and search “Click Here” and you will be surprised at the fact that the first result is completely irrelevant with this keyword, but because millions of other sites link to it with the anchor text “Click Here”, therefore it gets the 1st place.
Why are anchored-backlinks important?
If you have a good amount of backlinks for a keyword, you can “capture” the 1st result of the first page on Google for that keyword (as well as other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing).
Obviously, if your blog or a page from your blog is ranked 1st for a commonly searched keyword, you will receive a lot of free organic traffic from search engines every day without further work, unless you have competition who are trying to rank for the same keyword.
No-Follow and Do-Follow
To reap search engine benefits, hyperlinks that link back to your site must be do-follow, meaning they should NOT have a rel= “nofollow” tag, or else it would be useless and the backlink will not get picked up by Google (and others but not all). Example of a no-follow link:
<a href="http://www.example.com/" rel="nofollow">Link text</a>
Make sure you double-check whether your backlink is do-follow or not before you build them or your efforts will go wasted. You can easily do that by right clicking anywhere of a page, view the source code and search for your link, if you don’t see any no-follow tags next to your link, you’re all good.
What are keywords?
Keywords are what people commonly search on search engines, say “How to train my dog”, “How to lose weight fast”…etc
You might want to aim for a keyword that people often search or else there would be no point in getting the first result for that search term.
For example, if you wanted to rank for the 1st result for the keyword “common blogging mistakes”, then you will have to do hyperlink your links with the appropriate anchor text, like this:
Oh and it should be do-follow!
Important Ranking Factors
- Anchor Text – We talked about this earlier, your backlinks should be named the keywords you’re ranking for, not the domain URL or something else that people don’t search.
- Single-Phrase Backlinking – A little contrary to the anchor text factor but you should never build backlinks around a single keyword, try and give it a little twist every now and then (keep it relevant at the same time), for example: instead of using the “weight loss tips” anchor text all the time, try “weight loss advice”.
- Page Rank – The higher page rank a page has, the higher link juice (a term for SEO benefits) it will give you if it links to you, to check, simply use this tool. Bear in mind that all pages have an individual page rank even if it’s from the same domain. A backlink from a page rank 7 site can give you as much link juice you can get from 500,000 unique backlinks (real data) from page rank 1 sites.
- Relevancy – If the backlinks you are getting is from a website that is totally irrelevant from yours, I suggest you should not consider those links, in fact, they can even lower your credibility. If you have a weight loss blog, get links from blogs about weight loss and not from blogs about casinoes.
- Link Weight – The strength of a link on a particular page is calculated by many factors, the stronger the better, and if a page has many links to other places, the strength of each link will be shared amongst the others, meaning each backlink will become weaker. If you plan on getting quality backlinks, make sure the link weight isn’t spread around with many others.
So the catch is where can you build backlinks?
There are numerous of ways, with one being most popular called article marketing, that is by writing an article around 400 words and submit to an article directory in return for a backlink to benefit yourself with.
This is where I submit content to, three places I’ll ever use:
- EzineArticles – Article Marketing
- Hubpages – Web 2.0
- Relevant Blogs – Guest Posting
EzineArticles is for submitting articles that have a minimum of 400 words, after your content, you get an author resource box to place your two backlinks however you like it. As they say:
“The BODY of your article is where you “GIVE” and the RESOURCE BOX is where you get to “TAKE” for your article gift of information.”
Make sure you write good articles or else the editorial team won’t approve them, all articles are checked by real human beings, so don’t cheat or anything.
Hubpages is a web 2.0, in simple English that means it’s place where you can submit your articles to, it doesn’t have real people checking your stuff, however there is a scoring system called HubScores, it will move up if you write useful stuff and participate in the community, if you spam or write junk it will go down.
Take note that your author HubScore has to be above 75 or else links from all of your articles (called Hubs) will become no-follow. Also, if an individual hub has a score lower than 40 or 50 I don’t remember, the links from that hub alone will become no-follow.
However, it is easy to maintain good HubScores if you give value.
Relevant Blogs, unfortunately I cannot give you much data on this because I don’t know your niche, try Technorati Blog Search for finding relevant blogs. If you guest post on a blog that has a similar topic of yours, you can get quiet good backlinks because there are many blogs out there with a high page rank
Plus, you get instant traffic because almost every single subscriber from that blog will read the post.
Guest posting is basically writing a post for a blog owner to submit it on his/her blog, you get to include a 2-3 sentences “author’s biography” at the bottom of the post with a maximum of 2 backlinks (most of the times).
EzineArticles and Hubpages both have a stable page rank of 6 so the strength of the backlinks you get are reasonably good.
Linking Building Plan
I have a link building plan to show you, but to make things simple, I have broken them down to three parts step-by-step.
#1) Simple Direct Backlinking
I know the graphics are terrible, I did it with MS Paint so bear with me. This is the fundamental form of backlinking, you publish content on a platform and place an optimized link back to your target, it could be your best post or your homepage URL, anything really.
#2) Linking With Support
The green link means it is a “support link“. As you can see both of these articles have a link to your target, and HubPages has a link to support an article you wrote over at EzineArticles, meaning the strength of the backlink to your target on EzineArticles is more powerful because it is supported by a link from HubPages.
#3) Linking With Double Support
In this form of backlinking, you can strengthen the Guest Blog link with the EzineArticles backlink as it is also supported by HubPages, this will enhance your overall backlinking effectiveness.
If you are confused, you can definitely ask me in the comments below, but it is quiet simple, basically, all articles you publish has a backlink to your target, but there’s a support link from HubPages to Ezines and another from Ezines to a Guest Blog.
The Ultimate Support-linking Order
You cannot switch the order of the support links, you can but you will have weaker link juice. You should always use support links this way:
HubPages —> EzineArticles —> Guest Blog
Web 2.0 —> Article Directories —> Blogs
I’ll explain this, because HubPages is a Web 2.0 and their articles don’t get reviewed by human staffs, it is not as good as EzineArticles, whereas EzineArticles is an article directory that has a human editiorial team.
You guessed it, best of all, a blog, because blog owners will always precisely check the content that get published on their blogs, it is really difficult to guarantee your articles will get accepted (note I used accepted not approved).
The quality of the articles you publish need to be better and better as you move up to a different platform, as the reviewing process gets tougher than the previous.
Warning: Never Reciprocally Link
There’s a SEO term called Reciprocal Linking, for example, if you have a backlink from article A to article B, and article B also has a link back to article A, meaning, they are linking back to each other.
That is 100% no good, it won’t harm you in a bad way, but both of your links will weaken, even weaker than what you should get normally. Therefore, make sure you link articles in a linear fashion.
Critical Key Point of Link Building
Link building in reality is really just writing articles and linking them back to your own website, the most important aspect that people miss, is to write.
I know writing is a tedious task, I hate it too, how effective or how quick you will achieve your results depend on one key, and that is the number of articles you can write.
If you use this link building strategy properly, you will definitely see your desired increase in search engine ranking. The speed is keyword specific though.
As usual, let me hear your thoughts about this tactic. (or this ninja will Kung Fu chop you from behind )